Volume 13, Issue 4/2011 - Editorial

Better People, Better Hospitals

Companies are beginning to realise that employees are more than just a cost factor but also an important resource with sustainable competitive advantages. So it is particularly worrying to discover that the topic of personnel management is often underestimated. Carsten Steinert, Professor of personnel management at the University of Osnabrück in Germany believes that poor people management is often tolerated as long as the company is still making a profit.


The temporal perspective shows a strong trend of the transfer of personnel functions observed directly by the management or of outsourcing work to external companies. The requirements for human resource management have changed a lot over time. In the past the focus was placed on knowledge of occupational, social and collective regulations but today a great deal of attention focuses on organisational sociology and psychology and on business management skills. Conflict management and communication skills are another important feature too.


This change of focus and knowledge required shows us that human resource management is turning from an administrative to an organisational task and is increasingly affecting the management. For personnel management and in particular for staff development it is much more important that the managers and employees are trained adequately through seminars and development programmes. If companies are willing to train and educate their staff they will have a competitive advantage over other organisations. This issue of (E)Hospital deals with the topic of staff development and provides information on the possibilities and effects of increased training for hospital employees.


Healthy Hospitals is the second theme of this issue. HPH stands for Health Promoting Hospital and is an association involved in the improvement of hospital structures. Knowledge and skills for health and equal opportunities are being developed, evaluated and discussed by members of the HPH. In this article, the visions and activities of hospital managers and their targets in the field of health promotion in hospitals is discussed. Healthy hospitals are also green hospitals. They are not just newly-designed hospitals but also improve renewable energies, employee productivity, waste reduction, pollution and issues of resource management in the health system.


Our country focus this issue is on France. The French Healthcare System was classified by the WHO as one of the world's best systems in 2000. Health policy in France, which is operated under the supervision of the state, receives and improves the health of citizens with their offer of medical care and prevention programmes. In the meantime, major changes in healthcare organisation have been launched. 


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Companies are beginning to realise that employees are more than just a cost factor but also an important resource with sustainable competitive advantages.

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